President Barack Obama needs us.
He needs ALL of us.
He needs all of us to help him to make this nation GREAT again.
And I think, this time around, he's going to actually USE us.
I read in a recent interview in which Barack Obama said he'd learned an important lesson during his first term. A lesson that will make him a very different president in his second term. A lesson that I've hoped he'd learn.
Many here have touched on the edges of that lesson. That president Obama is not much like campaigning Obama. And they were right.
And that's the lesson he's learned.
After the weeks (months?) of euphoria, upon the election of the first non-white president of the United States of America, nearly all of us were saying different versions of the same thing:
"It just hasn't sunk in yet"
"I just can't believe he's actually president."
An historic occasion like this, especially happening alongside a singularly challenging time for our country, was much to take in. We knew he had what it takes to turn this doomed ship around. And, we were energized. And we were dedicated. And, we were patient.
AND we wanted to help.
Not just Democrats, but independents, moderates, and even some Republicans wanted to help. He had the entire country in the palm of his hand.
He really did.
But only for a preciously short time.
After eight years of a mind-numbing, heart-crushing president. Someone who was so clueless as to not even be aware how clueless he was. After two never-ending wars. Only one of them, even remotely possibly, a just cause. After tax cuts for people who didn't need them. After regulations on stem cells, keeping them from people who DID need them. ALL in the interest of holding together a fragile coalition of religious extremists, and plutocrats, in order to win a second term, where he would proceed to neglect an entire American city that was drowning in the south.......
After all that...........
We were relieved.
We were so happy.
But there were too many UNhappy Americans as well. Americans with power. Elected Americans. Americans who were saying much the same thing:
"I can't believe he's president"
But they weren't saying it how we were saying it. They were saying it, as if the very IDEA of a black president was the beginning of the end of our great nation. Not because of the content of his character. But because of the color of his skin.
Barack Obama comes from community organizing. He chose that to be his contribution to the cities, state, and nation he loved. And he was damn good at it. He took that talent, that drive, and that energy, and made himself one hell of a campaigner from it.
In 2008, people ALL OVER THE WORLD came out in the hundreds of thousands at each campaign stop, just to get a look at this man. Just to get a look at the future of America. To hear what he had to say. To be moved by his vision. And he had vision. And he moved people with his vision. And they went home KNOWING that they had the power to help him carry out his vision.
He SHOWED them that they had that in them.
He sure showed me.
And then something happened.
And to his credit, Obama saw it coming.
When he realized that after he became president, that they would take away his blackberry. That they would have to protect him. That this would insulate him from the very people he had inspired, and who had INSPIRED HIM!!! ........and who had worked their ASSES off to get him elected. He didn't want this to happen.
But it wasn't up to him.
He went from being OUR campaigner, to being EVERYONE'S president.
This is something he felt he HAD to do. After all, he felt he was to be this century's Lincoln.
Look, George W, Bush wasn't the president of the United States of America. He was the the President of the United States of Republicans. He was the President of the United States of Plutocrats. He was the President of the United States of Religious Zealots. He was the President of the United States of Unbridled Capitalism.
And he did everything in his power to make THEM happy. And he did. For a while. And, at the expense of the rest of us.
He nearly ruined our nation (and the world) in the process.
And as a new and naive president, Barack Obama thought he could actually BE the President of the United States. The president of EVERYONE. And he tried his ASS off to be just that. I bet Michelle can tell you (I can see it in her eyes, to this DAY) how disappointed he was, how disappointed he IS, that the nation just wasn't ready for him.
We just weren't ready for him.
We weren't good enough for him. As a nation.
And so while Obama was strategizing and cajoling and talking and persuading and almost BEGGING his Republican counterparts to work WITH him to pull our nation out of the abyss.
All he got was a big "FUCK YOU!" And then another "fuck you" and another. and another.........................and he's STILL getting nothing but "fuck you" from them..........
Fortunately for our country, Obama had a window of time. He had a very short two years to get as much done as he possibly could. He had the resources in Congress to eek out enough good legislation to save us from utter collapse.
And let's be frank here. If the U.S. had collapsed, so would have the world.
After it appeared to him that the country would survive. After the stimulus passed, even though it was much less than the country needed to THRIVE, it was enough for us not to die. He even managed to succeed, without Republican cooperation, mind you, at bringing a whole SLEW of wonderful things to ALL the people of this nation.
Whether they'll admit it or not.
But after the 2010 election, the president lost that leverage, and the Republicans relegated our nation to be on life support for the last nearly two years.
Not only that, but they threatened NUMEROUS times to pull the plug altogether.
Let me say that again.....
The Republicans SO "loved their country" that they actually threatened to kill it in order to "save it" Over and over and over again.
And that brings us to today.
It brings us to tonight.
It brings us to the most important speech Barack Obama will ever give.
More important than all of his previous speeches COMBINED. More important, even, than his speech on race in America. Yes. Imagine that. More important than even THAT.
What he needs to do tonight, and what I EXPECT that he WILL do tonight, is to take off his cape. Take off the big "O" on his chest.......and just.........be a human being.
I EXPECT my president to repeat to the American people what he spoke to in that interview. I expect him to say that he was hopeful, but a little bit naive. I expect him to say that he THOUGHT the Republicans were mature enough to see what was happening to our great nation, and were ready to put their party second, and our country first.
After all, it was McCain's campaign slogan. Remember? Country First.
I'm sorry to say this, but Barack Obama needs to eat a little crow tonight.
Not in order to win the election. He can win the election without eating crow. But he can't save our nation without it, I believe.
And he can't save it.........................alone.
He needs to say he was wrong. He needs to admit that he, like us, got so caught up in his promise of hope, that his naivete got the better of him.
He worked for our nation. Oh, he worked his ass off. He kept that belief that he could be the one (the Lincoln of our times) to bring us all together and take us all forward.
To save us.
But the Republicans saw that all they had to do to foil this plan, was extremely simple. Maniacally simple. Dr. Evil simple.
All they had to do was to say..................... "no."
To say "no" as loudly, and as often as it took, to make this first non-white president fail. They've said it out loud. More than once. It's in the Congressional record!!!!
Their first priority was to make this president a one-term president.
Their first priority was NOT to avoid a world depression.
Their first priority was NOT to go after bin Laden.
Their first priority was NOT to save the auto industry.
Their first priority was NOT to create jobs.
Their first priority was NOT even to make their own constituents happy and secure.
Their first priority was to make THEIR president...........................fail.
And with a world on the brink, no less.
The very definition of avarice.
And with a Republican Party using every trick, every ounce of their energy and reserve to stop him.
This president very nearly succeeded.
And he didn't even use us to do it. At least, not like he COULD have.
THAT is MY beef with this president. That he had us. And didn't use us. Not like he COULD have.
He left too many of us at his campaign stops. He left too many of us at the voting booths. He left too many of us with placards in our hands, with dreams in our hearts, and with the searing knowledge that WE TOO had power.
And because he didn't use enough of us, we began to get discouraged. We began to get antsy. We began to start arguing with each other.
He wasn't even holding US together.
And then he went on, to save the world by himself.
I don't know why he did this. I don't even know if he knows why he did this.
But he DOES know now, that he won't be making that same mistake again.
He DOES know now, that he CANNOT do it without US this time.
He said in that interview that he was going to campaign to win a second term. And that he was going to KEEP CAMPAIGNING throughout his entire second term. He was going to use the bully-pulpit to make it UNDENIABLE to the media. Undeniable to his supporters. Undeniable to even the most ardent Republicans, that what he was doing was what a MAJORITY of Americans wanted.
And, god dammit, that's what democracy actually IS.
Making the majority happy.
The majority votes you in. You make the majority happy.And for the most part, he has.
And if by making that majority happy, you can persuade a few more people to actually JOIN that majority, THEN. ONLY then, can you truly take a country forward.........winning one person over at a time..........gaining momentum...................until doing the best things for our nation is what EVERYBODY wants.
It's called progress.
And we ARE prgressives. Not just us here. I think AMERICA is progressive. Look how far we've COME in 236 years. Look how far we've come.
We have progressed.......
Then, when he's done being human..............he needs to be Obama again. He needs to put that cape back on. He needs to put that big "O" back on his chest. You know, the Obama we voted for. The man that convinced us that WE could make a difference. That just one person................ONE PERSON, if S/he is working with a lot of other "ONE PERSONS", can move the world.
HE NEEDS TO LEAD!!
And, by God, he needs to show us his vision.
A NEW vision.
AND then, he needs to drill it into all of our bones, the very MARROW of our bones...................that he can't do it without us.
THEN, he has to drill it into the VOTERS bones, that WE can't do it without a Democratic Congress.
He needs to come out to that podium, and he needs to show us his coattails.
Then he needs to assure us that he won't leave us behind this time.
That he'll keep campaigning with us, and for us.
Until we ALL get the job done.
Barack Hussein Obama needs FOUR MORE YEARS!!!!!!!!
FOUR MORE YEARS!!!!!!!!
FOUR MORE YEARS!!!!!!!!
FOUR MORE YEARS!!!!!!!!